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St. Louis Blues willing to ‘get creative’ in Pavel Buchnevich trade, retain 50 percent of his contract

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Photo credit:Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
3 months ago
The St. Louis Blues might be more inclined to trade Pavel Buchnevich than previously thought.
While his name has been in the rumour mill for weeks due to a belief that the Doug Armstrong Blues won’t want to sign him to a big extension at the end of the 2024-25 season, there’s also been a belief that the asking price was astronomical for the winger—and rightly so.
Buchnevich, who has recently been linked to the Edmonton Oilers, has a $5.8-million deal through the remainder of next season, with St. Louis asking for as much as two-first round picks, or the equivelenat of it. This would add complexity to any potential deal, but the Blues have reportedly changed their tune about what this deal could look like.
According to Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli, the Blues are now willing to get creative on a potential trade involving Buchnevich, including retaining up to 50 percent of his remaining contract.
I think what’s really interesting is the St. Louis Blues have told teams they are willing to get creative. Now, what exactly does that mean? I’m told the Blues have said ‘if the return is right, that they are willing to retain half on Buchnevich, which to me is a really juciy tidbit. He’s one of the guys on the board that is not a rental, has one more year left on his deal, and if teams are balking and think the prices are expensive for rentals, in this case with Buchnevich, not $5.8-million next season, just $2.9-million. To me, a point per game player I thought at $5.8 even a high return made sense for the player buchnevich has been.
To get two runs are him at a really reasonable rate on your cap, I could see that being certainly worth the haul. No guarantee, as I’ve said many times, that buchnevich gets traded, but the fact that the blues are in this spot where they’re willing to mix it up a bit and juice the return by retaining half, man, that all of a sudden becomes a really facinating target.
The ask for Buchnevich before was two first round picks, so essentially, a first-round pick plus a first round pick equiveleant, meaning a recent first round pick. If you’re going to add in one more top level premium assett and get a team to retain half, that’s three pieces coming back on top of the three you just drafted last year, on top of Jake Neighbours having a 20-goal season, on top of Jordan Kyrou and Robert Thomas being 24, 25 years old, you can really see the pieces start to come together in St. Louis again for what could be another six, to eight, to 10 year sustained period of time where you compete.
Undoubtedly, this should open up the market for the Blues and not just that, bring the Oilers seriously into the mix. The price for Buchnevich before was more than reasonable. He is one of the NHL’s premier play drivers at both sides of the rink, and spends time on both special teams units. As a top-six winger with size, that’s not an easy mix to find.
He’s still on the right side of 30, and Edmonton has a clear need in their top-nine to improve. The cost of acquisition, for example, could be something like the Oilers’ first-round pick this year and prospects Philip Broberg and Xavier Bourgault. The two players are both first-round picks of their own, and while Broberg ahead of where Bourgault is as a prospect, both players are still young.
Buchnevich would be a huge addition to the Oilers. His ability to play the special teams, especially the penalty kill, would add another big layer of depth to this team. It could also free up the Oilers to remove someone like Mattias Janmark or Connor Brown from the lineup, solid penalty killers who have offered nothing at 5v5 this season.
 

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